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The Loa Depths

18 December 2000
Just where does Dan get off? Ground floor, like anyone else on the way out.

We all feel low sometimes. That's why God gave us two arms - to hold each other up. My father told me that. It was, I found, a most inspiring lesson.

Oh, no. He is no longer with us. Going down, by the way? Excellent.

No. My father was a good man, but perhaps a little overfond of his own melancholy. It brought him down, you know, until...well, eventually I simply had to do something. He was disrupting the whole neighbourhood.

Nowhere nearby. I'm really quite well-travelled, although I seem to have come to rest here. Be it ever so humble, as they say. Please, go ahead. You may want to be ready to roll them down again, though. It gets a lot cooler further below. What you might call a microclimate. It's the strangest thing.

No, don't lean out. Obviously, I can't compel you, but I must ask that you observe the integrity of the cage. I know it is somewhat abraded at edge and corner, but it is there for a reason. Besides, what would there be for you to hold on to?

This is perhaps the best-loved part of my journey. The wind whistling in the wires - if a sudden stop should afflict us, we can allegedly summon help by striking the copper. Very conductive, or conducive, if you see what I mean. But don't worry. Every part of the elevator, although old, is working well - you should see those boys at the weekends. Like little Herculeses! - and our downward progression, although occasionally jerky, will be continuous and perfect. You have my word on that.

Oh, that was quite a bad one. You're looking a little pale. Don't you worry. Safe as houses, I say. Safe as houses. If I could count the number of times I've taken this path, without mishap...well, I'd be an exceptional fellow indeed. A positive prodigy.

No, I didn't, did I? Tyburn, originally; you may be able to pick up the faintest of accents, but it's -


Oh, him. Yes, interesting case. Don't wave to him; you'll only make him flinch, and he'll drop that great hulking thing. It's basalt, you know, heavy as anything.

Do you know, I'd never thought about that before. Those books...they're called that because they hold the world. Clever...

Oh, yes, sorry. I've told this tale so many times sometimes I think I've already told it, if you take my point. That is Mr. Qualkishan.

Yes, quite a mouthful. Foreign? Well, yes and no. He was deposited on Earth like an infant sweet wrapper by his parents, who inhabited the planet Lepton. And still do, so far as we can tell. Why they felt the need to blast their child into space has never been made entirely clear. Still, I'm sure they had their reasons. He's certainly less than edifying company, but they could hardly have known that. Maybe some prophecy of impending doom. Maybe they were just bored. Perhaps it was an experiment. In which case I fear we've rather overturned the cage.

No, I don't expect you to believe it. Nonetheless, it is the truth. Warmed by the rays of our yellow sun, possessed of superhuman strength, able to induce iron to melt just by looking at it, and as pure as water, ready to stand up for the right and the good and the noble. All that.

Indeed. Seems most peculiar that such estimable ambitions should be expressed by humping rocks about, useful though it undoubtedly is to us. Let me answer that most perceptive question with one of my own.

What is the one thing you are terrified of beyond all else?

No? Very wise. Our Leptonian friend was a little more eager to share secrets, and there we go. We had higher hopes, I must confess, but he's not really good for much else. Oh, except that Mr. Coronin from the 13th basement rapes him occasionally.

Now, I did ask you not to place any part of your body outside the elevator. Please be a little more thoughtful. After all, last scion of a largely indifferent race or not, our superhuman friend up there is clearly in far better condition than you to affect his surroundings. For the first twenty years or so he did try. But I really think you might want to save your energy.

Excellent, you just curl up there, get a little rest. You've got a way down to go yet. You'll be amazed who you'll pass by. Startling who fetches up here. Missing persons, misplaced luggage, adorable little lost children. Embezzlers on the lam with surprisingly little money, store detectives, frustrated wives, exhausted clubbers in highly unsuitable clothing. Very peculiar.

Well, now, that wouldn't be very logical, would it? Of course you're not. You're as alive as I am. You're just in an elevator. Nothing strange or paranormal about that. You're in an elevator, and you're going down.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
30 October 2003. Dan writes: My only goal
9 October 2003. Dan writes: The Knot
18 September 2003. Dan writes: The Engelbart Elephant
28 August 2003. Dan writes: The Amity Index
7 August 2003. Dan writes: This Sporting Life
17 July 2003. Dan writes: Touch
26 June 2003. Dan writes: Metadata
5 June 2003. Dan writes: Street Mate
15 May 2003. Dan writes: Usher's Well
24 April 2003. Dan writes: Medicamenta
3 April 2003. Dan writes: Weapons of Mass Construction
13 March 2003. Dan writes: David Sneddon, Bukake Secret Agent
20 February 2003. Dan writes: Mary Sue
30 January 2003. Dan writes: Bait and Switch
9 January 2003. Dan writes: What Never Happened
19 December 2002. Dan writes: Sermon on the Mount the Face
28 November 2002. Dan writes: Ballroom Blitz
7 November 2002. Dan writes: The Photographer
17 October 2002. Dan writes: Diaphragmatic
26 September 2002. Dan writes: A life in the day
5 September 2002. Dan writes: Different Class
15 August 2002. Dan writes: Story and sequel
25 July 2002. Dan writes: Fellatious
4 July 2002. Dan writes: Skin Mag
10 June 2002. Dan writes: The Ibizan book of the Dead
16 May 2002. Dan writes: The Sissons Situation
22 April 2002. Dan writes: UpsideClown and Out in Hollywood
28 March 2002. Dan writes: Nereus' Daughters
4 March 2002. Dan writes: Diomedes
7 February 2002. Dan writes: Text Only
14 January 2002. Dan writes: Civil Engineering
20 December 2001. Dan writes: Nativity
26 November 2001. Dan writes: The Wedding Band
1 November 2001. Dan writes: what dreans mecum?
8 October 2001. Dan writes: Stop me if you've heard this one before
13 September 2001. Dan writes: Mother of the Muses
20 August 2001. Dan writes: I say I say I say
26 July 2001. Dan writes: Bigger, Better, Brother
2 July 2001. Dan writes: Hecatomb
7 June 2001. Dan writes: Dispassionate Leave
14 May 2001. Dan writes: Small Town Boy
19 April 2001. Dan writes: Maintaining the Driving Line
26 March 2001. Dan writes: Cut and Paste
1 March 2001. Dan writes: Redemption
5 February 2001. Dan writes: Blyton the Face of the Earth
8 January 2001. Dan writes: Smoke Signals
18 December 2000. Dan writes: The Loa Depths
23 November 2000. Dan writes: The Limits of Melissa Joan Hart
30 October 2000. Dan writes: Shiftwork
5 October 2000. Dan writes: Dawson
11 September 2000. Dan writes: Testing Times
17 August 2000. Dan writes: Onanova
3 July 2000. Dan writes: Roboto il Diavolo

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